Thursday, 25 June 2009

Gays mistreated in Rwanda - AI

Amnesty International has said Rwandan gays and lesbians face serious hostilities, harassment and intimidation in the East African state.

According to the Amnesty International 2009 report, the treatment of the lesbian community is not isolated but indicative of general short-fall in the respect of human rights, saying the Rwanda government reacted with hostility to criticism on gay and lesbian community.

It also criticises Rwanda’s donor community which did not dare to challenge and or criticise the government for its violation of rights for gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“Freedom of expression was limited and civil society and the media were under close scrutiny by the government,” the organisation said in the report.

The report cited that in March, two female LGBT activists were accused of forging documents and detained for two weeks after attending a LGBT conference in Mozambique. “They were subsequently released two weeks later after prosecution withdrew the case citing lack of evidence,” the report stated.

Amnesty International has also warned that the global economic crisis is exacerbating human rights abuses, stating that rising prices meant millions were struggling to meet basic needs in Africa and other part of the world.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch remain in a frosty relationship with Kigali that in 2007, President Kagame slammed the two organisations of “deliberately refusing to see anything good in Rwanda”.


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